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KREG PLUS NEWSLETTER
MARCH 2018
Router Bit Basics
Adding edge profiles with a router is a great way to dress up your projects, and an easy way to get started with a handheld router if you haven’t already. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind to ensure top-quality results, which we’ll discuss this month in Kreg Plus.
Choose the Best Bit
Successfully routing a profile starts by selecting the right bit. The bits shown are a good place to start. Use roundover or chamfer bits to soften the corners of legs and other edges. For decorative edges, cove and ogee bits work well. They come in a wide selection of styles and sizes to provide a classic look. By combining profiles, you can create just about any design you like.

WATCH: How To Dress Up Edges with a Roundover Bit
The Cutting Edge
After you’ve decided on the profile, there are some other things to look for in a good-quality bit. The first is the cutting edge. Although you can still find high-speed steel bits, we recommend carbide-tipped bits, since the carbide edge stays sharp longer.
Shank Size
Another thing that can affect the quality of the cut is the shank diameter. If you are using a small trim router, you’ll need to choose bits with 1/4"-diameter shanks.

If you have a full-size router, opt for bits that have a 1/2"-diameter shank whenever possible. The larger shank makes these bits less prone to chatter that can produce a rough cut.
Bearings
Most profile bits have a guide bearing that rides on the smooth edge of a workpiece and controls the cut. Be sure to check the condition of the bearing before every use. If it’s dirty and doesn’t spin freely, you can usually clean it. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the bearing before using the bit.
Routing Techniques
With the right bit installed, you’re almost ready to move on to routing. Before you do that, you’ll want to secure the workpiece. If you don’t have it firmly held in place, you run the risk of the bit catching the grain and gouging the workpiece. If you have a work center that's equipped with bench dogs and a vise, that makes it easy. You can also use several types of clamps, but they tend to get in the way.  One way to overcome this is by using in-line clamps (pictured above).
Rout the Right Way
Another thing to remember is it’s important to rout in the right direction to ensure router control and a quality cut. You should always move the router against the rotation of the bit. For an outside edge, move the router in a counter-clockwise direction. If you’re routing the profile on the inside of a frame, move clockwise.

WATCH: How To Rout in the Right Direction
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